There are many kinds of artists. Some feel once one is an artist in any media, one can take on any other media….be it photography, graphic design, or web design. I have found that being creative in one area does not necessarily translate to another.
My jewelry photog, Gary and I, struggled yesterday to get a shot of a pair of earrings just right. Actually I struggled. He had done his job, mine was to “style” the earrings into a pleasing arrangement. He took the photos, we evaluated each shot on his monitor and I continued to tweak, as he adjusted the lights.
I am often asked if I take my own photos. I always snort “No” But why not? My father was a photographer, I learned at his knee. I have a friend who is a professional commercial photographer who willingly shares his tricks. I’ve seen Gary shoot my work many times. I can certainly get a camera that has the capacity to take the images. But as I “styled” my jewelry and Gary rearranged his lights, I knew without a doubt that I shouldn’t be photographing my work. It’s not within my creative suite. Its not within my studio set up, I don’t have the years of working in the field.
Consider when Michael Jordan left basketball to play baseball he had a short and unstellar career. Joaquin Phoenix is a great actor, but it remains to be seen if he can be a great singer. We’ve all designed or seen designed the MSWord business cards and/or brochures, that could be titled “Fun with Fonts“. I’ve certainly designed my share of bad over-done graphics. But I learned my lessons the hard way & I don’t do graphics nor am I designing my website.
I recently, had the opportunity to observe a jurying for an art show. There are some wonderful artists out there, its damn exciting to see their work. But not all artists are photographers. And as the jury commented several times, “What were they thinking?” What indeed. They didn’t further their own carefully crafted work, with their poor photography.
As my photog sez, it’s not what camera you use…that’s just the recording device. In photography it’s about the lighting. And I am convinced, that is a skill that must be developed over years. As a jeweler I can tell you its not the metal and the bling, its how its put together. The fact that I am a creative person doesn’t mean I should take on ALL creative projects that come my way.
I am best at being a jeweler. I’m at home there. I am a poor photographer, a font frolicking graphic designer, and a clueless web geek.
I don’t always have the time or money for it but I have learned to hire, barter, beg, pay-over-time, whatever it takes to get the right creative professional for the job I need done. In the long run it is cheaper and saves more time.
Coming soon: Thoughts on jury & booth images. The good, bad, and the GAWD AWFUL.